Acting or Reacting?

In your day-to-day life, do you tend to act or react?  oh sure, we all do both.  But those of us who tend toward codependency tend to spend much of our time reacting to the emotions and desires of others rather than choosing actions which stem from our own core selves — our own interests, life goals, and personal beliefs and desires. 

Example: I want to move to another house.  This house has bad memories for me at this point, plus my rent is higher than I will be able to afford soon due to an upcoming loss of alimony income.  My boyfriend thinks this is a great idea.  Time to downsize.  So I am happy and start to move forward, taking a look at apartments and rental homes.  Then my daughter speaks against it:  “I’m not moving THERE!  This is a terrible idea!”  I start to question my decision.  Then my middle son expresses enthusiasm.  I start moving foward again, etc., etc.

Today in Alanon we talked about how we can learn not to take on other people’s emotions.  I have realized recently how frequently I do that.  It’s an interesting journey, this self-discovery and healing process.

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2 responses to “Acting or Reacting?

  1. Your daughter’s comment about not wanting to move could be important in that she’s expressing fear, uncertainty, etc. during a tumultuous time in your family. Maybe it would be a good idea to explore these emotions with her, and allow her to be part of the decision-making process and input – – – qualifier – – – don’t necessarily let her opinion be the decider – – – but to involve her in your decision might give her more ownership. After all, I’m thinking that her brothers have taken most of your attention and concern these last few months. Have her list the pros and cons of moving, from her perspective. You do the same, then compare and discuss. Just a thought.

    • Sure thing, Peg. I agree with you on this. Right now, my daughter wants one thing — for me to kick my son out of the house, even though he’s working hard and doing well. She’s hanging on to the anger. So I just keep giving her a chance to vent it and waiting for her to be ready to move forward. Tricky.

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